SNP retain Scottish dominance as Tories and Labour clamour for second place

Polling predicts 67 per cent voter turnout, suggesting that political engagement remains high following the referendum


A week from polling, new data suggests that SNP support has slipped, though they remain well ahead of all parties in Scotland.

According to polling by TNS-BMRB published today, voting intentions for the elections to Holyrood among those who expressed preference and are certain vote are as follows (with changes since last month in brackets):

Constituency: SNP 52 per cent (-4), Lab 22 per cent (+3), Con 17 per cent (+2) LD 7 per cent (+1)

Region: SNP 45 per cent (-2), Lab 22 per cent (+1), Con 18 per cent (+3), LD 5 per cent (-1), Green 8 per cent (0)

According to the Scotland Votes website, such results would see the Scottish Parliament look as follows (changes since the 2011 elections)

SNP                            70 seats (+1)

Labour                         27 seats (-10)

Conservatives             21 seats (+6)

Lib Dems                     3 seats (-2)

Greens                        8 seats (+6)

The poll found also that for a third month in a row, 67 per cent of respondents said that they were certain to vote next week.

Commenting on the findings, Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland said:

“If a turnout of this level is seen on 5 May it will be significantly higher than the 50 per cent turnout in 2011, and a further indication of greater engagement with politics in Scotland following the referendum.

“As the various parties are building up to the final week of campaigning, have some of the criticisms of the SNP’s performance as the Scottish Government had an impact on the electorate? Or is the downturn in the SNP vote in both the constituency and regional list a reaction to the concerns being expressed by some commentators of the dangers of one party being so dominant within Holyrood?”

Despite the decline, a 52 per cent share of the constituency vote would represent a significant improvement for the SNP, who won 45 per cent in 2011.

It’s also significant that this poll contradicts previous polls, which suggested that the Conservatives could overtake Labour to become the official party of opposition.

TNS-BMRB also asked how respondents were likely to vote in the EU Referendum. It found that 48 per cent back staying in the EU compared to 21 per cent who wanted to leave and 31 per cent who did not know how they would vote.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward

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